Everton have listened to the wishes of manager Frank Lampard and informed Chelsea that young midfielder Anthony Gordon will not be sold this summer.
Chelsea have been chasing Gordon for the past month, beginning the bidding at £40m and ending up at £60m, but the two sides failed to agree on a fee and Lampard has long urged Everton to walk away from the negotiating table.
Gordon has voiced his interest in leaving to join Chelsea but, privately, Lampard has told those in charge at Everton that losing the 21-year-old so late in the transfer window could leave the team at risk of falling into another relegation battle.
Sources have now confirmed to 90min that Everton officials have accepted Lampard’s opinion and have informed Chelsea that Gordon will not be sold this summer, no matter the offer.
After Gordon scored in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Leeds on Tuesday, Lampard said. “Anthony is too important a player. He has showed his worth in the last two games, it is too late [to sell]. He is going to be special. In the bigger picture, he has an affiliation with the fans. It is a process, can we build around that?
“The interest in him is because he is a top player and why we are so keen to keep him. You saw the reasons why in the last two games. He is our player, he has come through, he is a very good player and will get better and better.
“Adding goals is the next step and the hardest step. He is a special player for me. I am delighted.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of Gordon but, with a deal now off the table, Blues officials are looking elsewhere.
Talks have been held with Crystal Palace over a deal for Wilfried Zaha, while Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also close to making a move to Stamford Bridge.
Young Dynamo Moscow winger Arsen Zakharyan is also under consideration but his transfer could be delayed until January as Chelsea prioritise other moves.